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Speechd-el: Word Echo, Smarter Navigation, Visual Performance?

From: Veli-Pekka Tätilä
Subject: Speechd-el: Word Echo, Smarter Navigation, Visual Performance?
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 18:34:44 +0300

Hi Milan,
And thanks for geting bakc to me. SInce you took a rather nicely speech 
readable quoting style let me experiment with another. I'm using V: for my 
comments, M for yours, with an ordinal appended if you refer to multiple 
comments by a person. This is easy to search, quote by hand and is nicely 
spoken, too. BTW, I won't be here to answer mail for a few days due to an 
accessibility related thing abroad:

M, V = Milan, Veli-Pekka

V2: 1, lack of word echo: There's no word echo in speechd-el for immediate 
feedback when typing, That's just majorly bad for me, since I've edited with 
word echo about 10 years in quite a number of apps. <snippage> I can pick 
out most ENglish and Finnish typos by pronunciation when word echoed 
M: Well, this feature is easy to add.  So I've implemented it and it's in 
speechd-el CVS now. It can be enabled by setting new speechd-speak-echo
V: Huge thanks for such a greatly important and quick fix. I'm not familiar 
with CVS so would you happen to know how early I might have a Ubuntu binary 
of the latest version in synaptic? Alternatively, I could always try 
compiling from source.

This is more like knit picking, but I imagine as a newbie that Emacs has a 
format specific idea of a word. If it does e.g. stopping on dots and slashes 
in URLS for easier navigation, does the wordecho get triggered when you add 
a separator, such as a dot? My Windows reader does this but only in a 
hard-coded, silly fashion for common punctuation. Is there a SAPI 5 based 
port of speechd-el running natively or under Cygwin, just out of curiosity?

V2: ideally I'd like to tell Emacs, move to the next sentence, and have 
speechd-el read me the whole of the next sentence, as that's what my 
movement implied. It does not do that, reading the destination line after 
the navigation in stead.
N: speechd-el already works for me this way.  For example, when I press 
`M-e' Emacs moves to the next sequence and reads it.  The same applies to 
paragraphs. Did you change any speechd-el basic reading settings?
V: I think I've changed some of those or else I just tested badly. I'm sure 
I've killed ehcoing of all commands as documented in basic options. I'll 
restore to the defaults and check that I've got the latest version, just in 
case. On a side note, how do you do C-e for end of line without commanding 

V2: Alternatively, on the reader side, you could just read whatever is 
between the current and previous cursor position when the cursor moved, 
which would amount to much the same thing without the reader having to 
understand app logic other than getting the whole doc contents.
M: This may not be that easy.  Cursor can move for many reasons, even within 
interactive commands,
V: And macroes, good point.

M: not sure the user would be always happy with such a behavior.
V: I'd agree here. SOmetimes you'd like to jump ahead a screenful as a form 
of gambling scanning, seeing if jumping such a visual arbitrary unit got you 
to some nice place. IN such a jump it would be better, for example, to just 
read the destination line for you to get a quick idea of the contents. But 
it all depends on context, and the user. An option would be best, but this 
is a minor thing now that I know the navigation works as I thought it 

V2: One nice addition would be a command, stop the speech and drop the 
cursor to the pos the reader was reading at the moment. <snip> pretty neat 
in hands-free reading a whole chapter, wishing to pause in the middle
M: Yes, this would be nice.  It's possible to implement this feature as 
Speech Dispatcher already contains support for index marks.
V: Ah, true, you have to know where the synth is now to do this. Again I 
think this is a nice-to-have feature, not anything major. Now I think I've 
got most of the major annoyances about Emacs sorted personally. Word echo is 
there, navigation works as expected after all, and for my hotkey gripes, on 
other lists, there's a layout for touch typists:


V2: 3. Performance on older machines:
M: Do you speak about your Pentium laptop with speechd-el Ubuntu package?
V: Yes, exactly. in addition to speechd-el it might be Gnome-terminal, or 
the fact that I've got Orca running for GUI apps in the background. Well the 
performance is only a problem visually, speechd-el responds reasonably fast 
with eSPeak and speech-dispatcher. oddly my Windows synth, Orpheus, is even 
snappier, but I'm not sure why that is.

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

With kind regards Veli-Pekka T?til?
Accessibility, Apps and Coding plus Synths and Music:

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